Mary Dullea – Artistic Director and Piano
As soloist and chamber musician, Irish pianist Mary Dullea performs internationally at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Casa da Musica (Porto), Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Phillips Collection Washington D.C., Symphony Space New York City, Palazzo Albrizzi Venice (Italy), Johannesburg Music Society and National Concert Hall Dublin. Festival appearances include City of London, Cheltenham, St. Magnus International Festival, Belfast International Chamber Music Festival, Brighton, Huddersfield, Corsham, Aldeburgh, Fuse Leeds and Sound Scotland as well as Belfast Festival at Queens, West Cork Music, Reggello International Festival, Lodi Festival (Italy), TRANSIT Festival (Leuven) and National Arts Festival (South Africa). Her frequent broadcasts include BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, RTHK, RTE Lyric FM, WNYC, Radio New Zealand and Sky Arts, Irish, French, Austrian and Italian television. She was the Irish representative at EU 12 and 15 Piano Extravaganza Concerts in Salle Pleyel Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels and in Luxembourg. Concerto appearances include RTE Concert Orchestra, KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC commissioned and broadcast piano concerto by Rob Keeley with Lontano.
A sought-after interpreter of new music, Mary’s expansive repertoire covers the standard piano literature as well as an ever-increasing amount of 20th- and 21st- century compositions, many of which are dedicated to her. She has commissioned and premiered works from composers as varied as Michael Finnissy, Johannes Maria Staud, Michael Nyman, Donnacha Dennehy and Gerald Barry– notably with her piano trio, The Fidelio Trio and with violinist, Darragh Morgan.
From 2008-2015 she was the curator of Soundings (an annual UK/Austrian collaborative new music festival) at the Austrian Cultural Forum London. In February 2015 she served on the jury of ‘Schubert und die Musik der Moderne’ International Chamber Music Competition in Graz, Austria. She is the Artistic Director and founder of ‘Chamber Music on Valentia’, an annual chamber music festival in Co. Kerry, Ireland.
Mary’s own studies were at The Royal College of Music, London on the Edith Best Scholarship with Yonty Solomon and Goldsmiths University of London (MMus in Contemporary Music Studies). She holds a PhD in Performance from The University of Ulster. Mary is Director of Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London
Sebastian Adams (b. 1991) is RTÉ lyric fm’s Composer in Residence and was recently Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s Emerging Musician in Residence. He is founder and co-director of Kirkos, former chair of the Irish Composers Collective and co-director of the Fishamble Sinfonia.
Commissions include RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet and Máire Carroll. Crash Ensemble, Benyounes Quartet, Fidelio Trio, David Adams, Sarah Watts, Beatrice Berrut, Lina Andonovska and William Dowdall are among many past performers.
As a violist, Sebastian has premiered works by many of Ireland’s leading composers.
He studied in Vienna (Karlheinz Essl) and Dublin (Kevin O’Connell & Jonathan Nangle).
Francesco Dillon – Cello
Francesco Dillon (b.Turin, 1973) already has a brilliant international career to his credit, characterised by the originality and variety of the repertoire that he has embraced. As a soloist he has performed on such prestigious concert stages as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal of Munich, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Jordan Hall in Boston and the Colon Theatre of Buenos Aires, with such orchestras as the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI), the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, the Orchestra of the Colon Theatre, Ensemble Resonanz,the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra,the Oulu Sinfonia Finland, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and the Tuscany Regional Orchestra (ORT). Most recently he made an acclaimed debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, conducted by Susanna Mallki.
Having graduated in Florence under the guidance of Andrea Nannoni, he continued his studies with Anner Bijlsma, Mario Brunello, David Geringas and Mstislav Rostropovich, thereafter studying composition with Salvatore Sciarrino. In 1993 he was one of the founders of the Quartetto Prometeo, a chamber group of international acclaim and winner of numerous prizes (Prague Spring, ARD Munich, Bordeaux) and recently honoured with the Leone d’Argento award of the Biennale Musica of Venice. Dillon is also a stable member of the Alter Ego ensemble which is regularly invited to the major contemporary music festivals around the world. His passion for chamber music has led to performances with musicians such as Irvine Arditti, Mario Brunello, Giuliano Carmignola, Piero Farulli, David Geringas, Veronika Hagen, Alexander Lonquich, Enrico Pace, Jean-Guihen Queyras.
The profound interest in contemporary music which he has always cultivated has led to solid collaborations with the major composers of our time: Gavin Bryars, Ivan Fedele, Luca Francesconi, Stefano Gervasoni, Philip Glass, Vinko Globokar, Sofija Gubaidulina, Jonathan Harvey, Toshio Hosokawa, Giya Kancheli, Alexander Knaifel, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Arvo Pärt, Henri Pousseur, Steve Reich, Fausto Romitelli, Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino and with cult experimental musicians such as Matmos, and Pansonic, William Basinsky and John Zorn.
Dillon’s performances have been transmitted by such important broadcasters as the BBC, RAI, ARD, Radio France, ORF, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and WDR. He has recorded for the ECM label, as well as Sony, Kairos, Ricordi, Stradivarius, Die Schachtel, Mode and Touch. He recently recorded for the first time, Variations by Salvatore Sciarrino which received the Diapason d’0r prize, and Ballata by Giacinto Scelsi, both with the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI). As a duo with the pianist Emanuele Torquati, he has brought out three CDs of rare music of Schumann and the complete works for cello by Franz Liszt for Brilliant Classics.
Along with his concert activity there have been teaching experiences in institutions such as the Royal College of London, the Scuola di musica di Fiesole, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow, the Pacific University in California, Untref- Buenos Aires, Manchester University.
From 2010 he has been artistic director of the season of contemporary music Music@villaromana in Florence. www.francescodillon.com
An All-Ireland winning multi-instrumentalist, Patrick is quickly becoming one of the most in demand accompanists on the Irish music scene today. Predominately self taught on guitar, Patrick’s exciting style on both nylon and steel string guitar combines influences from many genres including jazz, hip hop, r’n’b and rock. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts and having lived in Foxford, County Mayo, Patrick now resides in New York City. His talents have brought him all over Europe, Asia, America and Africa and his musical journey so far has seen him perform with artists such as Sharon Shannon, Lunasa, Cathal Hayden, Sean Keane, Liz Carroll & Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Darragh Morgan – Violin
Irish violinist Darragh Morgan (b. 1974) leads a successful career in classical music and is known for his versatile ability to perform music from baroque to contemporary styles. He frequently performs and records solo and concerto repertoire including world premieres and works dedicated to him written by major contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt, Sir John Tavener, Kevin Volans, Gerald Barry and Michael Finnissy. His impeccable technique and openness to exploring new styles are widely recognised and have led to regular collaborations with artists such as Thomas Adès, Emmanuel Pahud and Nicholas Daniel. World-class international groups, including Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Group and Les Siècles have invited Darragh to be their guest leader and this has seen him working closely with conductors Pierre Boulez, François-Xavier Roth, Oliver Knussen and Heinz Holliger.
As a soloist, Darragh has performed at Wien Modern, Festival d’Automne Paris, Osterfestival Tirol, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms Chamber Music, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, Cheltenham, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals. His interest in chamber music has led him to found The Fidelio Trio. Described by The Sunday Times as “the virtuosic Fidelio Trio”, they have performed at Wigmore Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, and recorded Michael Nyman’s Complete Piano Trios for MN Records and Philip Glass Trios on Orange Mountain Music. As former violinist in the Smith Quartet, the group performed and recorded with artists as divers as Louis Andriessen, Gavin Bryars and Steve Reich, and appeared at Seoul Arts Centre and The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
Darragh has recorded over 50 solo and chamber albums for classical music labels including NMC, Naxos, Resonus Classics and Signum. He serves on the violin faculty at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and previously at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses at world-class institutions such as Peabody Conservatory and Curtis Institute. His achievements as a musician are heavily indebted to his teachers and coaches including Yehudi Menuhin, Mauricio Fuks, Pinchas Zukerman, Detlef Hahn and the Amadeus and Takács Quartets during his formative years.
Darragh plays an 1848 Giuseppe Rocca violin, generously on loan from the Morgan-Rocca Instrument Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians.
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin – Piano
Emeritus Chair of Music and Founding Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin is noted for his development of a uniquely Irish traditional piano style. He has recorded extensively with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has released some 15 recordings overall. His most recent recordings include PHOENIX RISING for symphony orchestra (Avolon 2015). ELVER GLEAMS: New and Selected Recordings (EMI 2010), and the DVD IRISH DESTINY: music for the historic 1925 silent movie of the same name (Irish Film Institute 2006).
In 2004 he was appointed inaugural Chair of Culture Ireland (the Irish governmental statutory body for promoting Irish arts worldwide) and was reappointed in 2008.
In 2005 he was awarded an Honorary D.Mus. from the National University of Ireland at University College Cork for his contribution to music in Ireland. Other awards include Ollamh na hÉigse (Professor of Arts) in 2005 by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Boston College Honorary Alumnus Award for contributions to Irish music in the USA (2006), and Gradam Cheoil (Irish language television award for contribution to Irish music) in 2011.
He studied composition with Irish composers Seán Ó Riada and Aloys Fleischmann, and his PhD from Queen’s University Belfast followed study with ethnomusicologists John Blacking and John Baily.
In May 2011, Mícheál performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for The Queen’s Concert in the National Convention Centre, Dublin, marking the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland. In December of the same year he performed at the Grand Canal Theatre with the RTE Concert Orchestra at the request of the newly appointed President of Ireland, Dr. Michael D. Higgins.
In 2013 he was appointed O’Donnell Visiting Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
As well as his extensive academic publications centered on Irish Music, he has given keynote addresses to such international bodies as the International Society for Music Education (ISME), the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESE), and the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM).
Keith Pascoe – Violin
Keith Pascoe has since 1998 played and toured
nationally and internationally with the Vanbrugh Quartet, resident artists at the National University of Ireland, University College Cork. In 2016 the quartet were presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Concert Hall for their contribution
to musical life in Ireland. As a solo violinist he has performed the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Beethoven and Mozart, in over thirty concerts around Ireland, in a series sponsored by the Arts Council. After violin, piano, and conducting studies at the Royal College of Music in London, his professional life began in 1981 as founder member and first leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Subsequent positions included: sub-leader of the London Philharmonic in his early twenties; assistant director of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, with whom he appeared as soloist, and ten years (1985-95) with exclusive EMI artists, the Britten Quartet.
Keith was appointed conductor of the Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra (formerly Cork Symphony, and City of Cork Symphony) in 2015. He has conducted an extensive repertoire of symphonies, and has accompanied such soloists as sopranos Majella Cullagh, Mary Hegarty, the violinists Mairéad Hickey, Sarah Sexton, Tasmin Little and Nigel Kennedy, with whom he has also played Bach’s concerto for two violins; cellists Christopher Marwood, Julian Lloyd Webber, and pianists David Syme, Ciara Moroney, and Barry Douglas; the Fleischmann Choir, as well as the Army Band of 1 Southern Brigade; International choirs including the RLPO choir, and the Harlow Chorus. He and the CFSO will open the 2017 Cork International Choral Festival with Verdi’s Requiem. “Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathetique’ symphony poses different challenges — sudden changes of dynamic that range from the almost inaudible to huge, overpowering ‘tuttis’, very exposed instrumental solos, lots of rubato, warmth contrasting with bleak despair and, under Pascoe’s inspired guidance, the orchestra responded brilliantly”.
Irish Examiner 2014
In addition to a busy performing schedule, Pascoe is a Luigi Boccherini scholar and has published articles and editions. He is a lecturer in the Conservatory of Music in the Dublin Institute of Technology, and has conducted the DIT Camerata whom he performed Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde, and the premiere of Paul Alday’s first symphony, the first symphony composed in Ireland. An external examiner and visiting teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was awarded an honorary ARAM by the Academy in 2015. He lives in Cork City.
“…Pascoe’s intensely musical, deeply personal,
and wonderfully moving account of the [Mendelssohn] concerto to match, at times even surpass, the playing of the best international soloists it has been my pleasure to hear”. Irish Examiner 2017
‘Fishamble Sinfonia is an orchestra made up of and run by some of Ireland’s top student and young professional performers. It is devoted mainly to the criminally neglected composers of the latter half of the eighteenth century. The orchestra’s mission is to introduce audiences to the forgotten masters of this time through exhilarating performances, while developing a sound informed by historical practice. For their most recent solo project Fishamble Sinfonia were delighted to join forces with the Dutch Residentie Bachkoor for a performance of Bach’s St John Passion in early October 2016. Present undertakings include an ambitious double choir series with Dun Laoghaire Choral Society and the Galway Baroque Singers, encompassing lesser-performed works by Vivaldi, Lully, Purcell & Handel. The orchestra has been directed by David Brophy, Jos Vermunt, Darragh Morgan, and by its regular guest leader Sarah Sew, and has been joined by soloists including Mark O’Keeffe, Davur Juul Maagnussen, Darragh Morgan, Sarah Sew, Adele Johnson and Bill Dowdall.’
Cillian Vallely – Uilleann Pipes
A native of Co. Armagh, Cillian Vallely is the product of an important traditional Irish music family. His parents Brian and Eithne Vallely founded the
legendary Armagh Pipers’ Club, an organization that has fostered the revival of traditional music in the north of Ireland for over fifty years, and there, Vallely grew up surrounded by music. Taught by his father and local piper Mark Donnelly, he developed a distinctive approach to piping later influenced by the rhythmic, flowing style of Paddy Keenan. His mastery of chanter, drones and regulators has earned him a reputation as one of Irish music’s top uilleann pipers.
His budding professional career began in the 1990s, touring with groups like the New York-based Whirligig and the popular show Riverdance. Vallely joined Lúnasa in 1999 and with them has recorded seven albums and played over 1500 shows in 20 countries, including major tours throughout North America and Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. Lúnasa are considered true innovators in Irish music and receive universal critical praise. They have played in major venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, and the Bercy Arena in Paris, as well as every major folk festival, including Glastonbury, Womad, the Edmonton Folk Festival, and Lorient Interceltique.
With over 60 recordings to his credit, Vallely is an in-demand studio session musician. He has collaborated on traditional music projects including Callan Bridge with his brother Niall and On Common Ground with flute player and Lúnasa bandmate Kevin Crawford. Vallely has also toured and recorded with
many notable artists outside the tradition including Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant, Tim O Brien & Mary Chapin-Carpenter. To much critical acclaim, he released his first solo album “The Raven’s Rock” in 2016.
“[Vallely’s] piping is expressive and delicate, deft and technically excellent […] The Raven’s Rock is an album to savour.” – Irish Music Magazine
“Vallely ticks all the boxes when it comes to the checklist of traits needed to be considered a 21st century traditional music A-lister […] The Armagh man is a superb musician who not only has great technique and style but who has a deep understanding of the roots and emotions of the music he plays.” – Irish News
“…a thoughtful, disciplined collection, [The Raven’s Rock is all about] lovingly crafted tunes played with both intensity and attention to detail.” – The Irish Times
“…this is a lovely production with beautifully crafted and superbly played tunes. A must for lovers of contemporary traditional music […] the quality of both the music and the production are up there with the best.” – Living Tradition